The Metro board, which is considering hikes in bus and rail fares that would hit hundreds of thousands of reliant low-income riders, faces a possible showdown at its meeting today – just two months after its March meeting erupted in shouting and two audience members were arrested.
Fare revenues pay for just 26 percent of Metro's operating costs, which have risen dramatically despite only modest inflation over the past several years. Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez, who protested outside City Hall this week leading up to today's rate-hike hearing, says, “This is a civil and human rights issue” because access to transportation has a major impact on those below the poverty line.
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The question is, with Metro's annual operating needs now at $1.37 billion, how does the region-wide agency pay for its ever-growing costs?
See video of today's protest below (Credit: Ani Ucar):